California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger mobilized troops from the California National Guard Saturday as part of a federal push to stop drug trafficking and illegal immigration along the Mexican border.
His order supports President Barack Obama's plan to have 1,200 National Guard troops assist with federal border protection, customs and immigration agents.
The move comes amid a national debate over an Arizona law that directs police to conduct immigration checks when they are questioning people about possible legal violations. There must be a "reasonable suspicion" the person is in the country illegally.
Obama asked California to deploy 224 Guard members for as long as a year, but California National Guard spokesman Lt. Patrick Bagley said as many as 260 soldiers and airmen will head to the border by Oct. 1.